Gauteng Opera tenor Phenye Modiane. Picture: CLINTON LUBBE
Gauteng Opera tenor Phenye Modiane. Picture: CLINTON LUBBE

After 18 years in existence, the Gauteng Opera is staging its final concert on Sunday after its funding — a mixture of private and foreign donations — dried up.

Its artistic director, Phenye Modiane, said despite producing some of the world’s best opera singers, unless it raises R1m by Sunday, the organisation will close shop.

Since 2000 Gauteng Opera has developed and trained more than 150 singers, technical experts and arts administrators. It has offered opera of the highest standard while investing in young talent.

"Due to the prevailing socioeconomic environment, it has proven very difficult for Gauteng Opera to raise enough funds to cover all its operational needs. So, it is with a heavy heart that the board of Gauteng Opera has resolved to shut down the company and cease all operations by March 31," the organisation said in a statement.

"This has been an agonising decision, and the board and management of Gauteng Opera considered all available options and, short of a miracle we will not be able, in good conscience and within our requirements, carry on and risk putting the company and all its stakeholders knowingly in peril."

Sunday’s concert is titled Sacred Songs. The programme will consist of the most beautiful and well-known sacred music to celebrate Easter, including Ave Maria, Panis Angelicus, Pie Jesu, Every Time I feel the Spirit and Goin’ Home.

Performers include Khayakazi Madlala (soprano), Yolanda Nyembezi (mezzo-soprano), Phenye Modiane (tenor), Kagiso Boroko (tenor), Lindo Maso (tenor), Kanyiso Kula (tenor), Chuma Sijeqa (baritone) and Solly Motaung (baritone). They will be accompanied on piano by Paul Ferreira.

"We encourage all patrons, supporters and stakeholders to attend our last performance. All proceeds and donations will go to ensure a last salary for the artists and staff of Gauteng Opera," the organisation said.

• Sacred Songs is at the Tin Town Theatre in Ferreirasdorp at 3pm.

Business Day